Fort Gordon might make First Friday off-limits

  • Follow Local Business

Fort Gordon command staff will consider preventing soldiers from visiting downtown Augusta during First Friday.

The topic came up Friday afternoon at the quarterly meeting of the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, which addresses garrison issues on post, including whether to recommend that certain establishments and areas be placed off-limits to soldiers.

The panel of civilians and military personnel expressed concern about this month’s First Friday, which ended with six people, half of them teenagers, wounded by gunfire. Richmond County sheriff’s investigators continue to search for a suspect.

Lt. Col. Hollis Bush, director of Fort Gordon’s emergency services, said he would research the incident and collect data to present at the next meeting, in October. Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, Fort Gordon’s commander, recently placed Trip 3 Smoke Shop off-limits after an investigation found the store was selling synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice.”

Stephanie Forbes, the owner of Gaartdensity Gallery at 1155 Broad St., said she hopes the fort doesn’t keep soldiers away.

“I think it’s a huge mistake,” she said. “Soldiers make up a good percentage of First Friday patrons. It isn’t going to solve anything by pulling people away.”

Forbes, who also waits tables at Mellow Mushroom on Broad Street, is working on getting a group of downtown business owners together next week to discuss ways to bring First Friday back to what it was when it started in 1994 – an art gallery walk designed to draw families downtown and showcase businesses.

“There is so much great potential for downtown,” she said. “Running away isn’t going to solve anything.”

Christan Armour, a manager at Bees Knees located at 211 10th Street, said banning soldiers from the monthly event would be detrimental to businesses in the area.

“It will definitely affect business downtown,” she said. “And it seems unfair to (the soldiers).”

Commanding officers have the privilege under military law to place locations and businesses off-limits if it’s found those places are detrimental or harmful to their “health, morale, safety, morals and welfare.”

In the wake of the shooting, Richmond County sheriff’s investigators said they will boost security at First Fridays and increase their enforcement of the city’s midnight curfew for minors. Officers believe a single shooter opened fire shortly after 11:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Broad Street.

The shooting led some to recall another violent incident that marred the event. In October 2002, three fights broke out that ended in damage to Broad Street bars. At least 19 arrests were made for disorderly conduct.

First Friday was originally run by Main Street Au­gusta, which was funded by the Down­town Develop­ment Authority. Main Street Augusta dissolved itself in 2006, and the DDA relinquished the festival for financial reasons. It was picked up by the Greater Augusta Arts Council in 2007, which has been running it on a very limited scale since then.

Comments (44) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
myfather15
56765
Points
myfather15 07/14/12 - 04:05 am
7
0
You seemed to think jails and

You seemed to think jails and prisons should be ran like Country Clubs. If you think its bad here, why don't you watch the show "Locked up abroad" sometime. We've probably got the softest prisons in the world. If you don't like it here, please feel free to move to a Country that has a better system. Let me know and I'll help you pack!! I've worked in two different jails before becoming a road patrol officer. Torture isn't an accepted practice in any of them.

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 07/14/12 - 04:28 am
7
1
Here's what I don't

Here's what I don't understand.

RCSO is going to enforce midnight curfews.

But the shootings happened at 11:30, so how will that make a difference?

KSL
143809
Points
KSL 07/14/12 - 04:37 am
2
1
I am still waiting on her to

I am still waiting on her to answer the year this happened. Simple, easy to answer question.

KSL
143809
Points
KSL 07/14/12 - 04:42 am
3
1
Thumbs up for that question.

Thumbs up for that question. Sounds like policy from someone on the way out.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/14/12 - 05:30 am
1
0
To start with - what do we do
Unpublished

To start with - what do we do with parents who allow kids to be out after curfew? If we are not willing to charge them with child neglect then forget any curfew laws. As to making the city off limits, the merchants have a right to take the post commander to court if they can prove his policy is unjustly impacting their business.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/14/12 - 05:45 am
1
0
I really wonder how soldiers
Unpublished

I really wonder how soldiers will be notified about the the off limits policy. In the army of old, every soldier was assigned to a company and every company had a bulletin board out front which listed among other things, all areas off-limits. We also had a company formation at the start and end of every day where such information was announced. I travel Ft G on a daily basis and have yet to see a student company bulletin board or soldiers in a formation, does the army still have either? In fact I believe the students live in a common barracks area structured like a holiday inn, with no unit integrity like in the past. So in conclusion, just how do soldiers get informed about off-limits areas?

jmo
18498
Points
jmo 07/14/12 - 05:53 am
5
0
Corgimom

I've been trying to figure that out ever since I first heard it. The shooter would have time to go home, shower (if he does) and be tucked in bed by curfew.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 07/14/12 - 06:19 am
5
0
outlaw First Friday and only

outlaw First Friday and only outlaws will have First Friday. Goodness, we're having some strange reactions to last week's violence.

OccamsRazor
43
Points
OccamsRazor 07/14/12 - 06:30 am
6
0
@choppergirl

I was wondering how the new courthouse became eternally cursed. Thanks for clearing that up.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 07/14/12 - 06:32 am
6
1
Army not lopsided contract

"Because obviously, they are not free, if they can not go where they please in their free time. They are nothing but slaves and property of the US government, and why one would enter into such a lopsided bondage contract is beyond me."

Where do I begin? For one thing slaves do not volunteer (unless duped) and do not get paid. I'm retired military so trust me, we get a fair share of money and benefits, for your entire lifetime if you retire. Thus since the military values its members, it wants a good return on their investment on whom it spends so much money training. If the benefit (being on Broad Street) does not outweigh the risk (getting shot) then the military plays it safe. Regardless, let me know the employer that does not have limits of some kind on their employees so I can submit my resume.

BamaMan
2687
Points
BamaMan 07/14/12 - 07:13 am
2
0
Soldiers

Back from my teenage days, I can remember cruising through Shoney's, Burger King on Gordon Hwy, around and back on Friday & Saturday nights. I remember soldiers piling into a cab, so many the tires would almost be flat, and coming to hang out. I also remember them piling into hotel rooms down the way. Maybe times have changed about their requirement to be back on base.

allhans
24885
Points
allhans 07/14/12 - 08:21 am
5
0
The miltary off-limits

The miltary off-limits should get things moving and we might actually get some clean-up done.
Good going Fort Gordon.

allhans
24885
Points
allhans 07/14/12 - 08:57 am
5
0
Bama Man .It wasn't only the

Bama Man .It wasn't only the military, we were all more relaxed back in those days, but I can recall several downtown establishments being off-limits for military personnel.
This is nothing new, but it is a heads up for downtown Augusta.

TheBigBonk
116
Points
TheBigBonk 07/14/12 - 09:14 am
0
1
Augusta should be very proud.
Unpublished

Augusta should be very proud. It now joins Tijuana Mexico in places that are off limits to soliders and sailors.

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 07/14/12 - 09:41 am
0
4
How is downtown Columbus

How is downtown Columbus ahead of Augusta?? Downtown Augusta is further along than Macon too. The majority of the recent/ongoing construction is renovated vacant buildings on Broad... 967, 851, 901, 586, 556, 566, 758, JB Whites building, Doris building, etc.... Bath Fitters is opening on Broad next to the Marbury Center...

Let's not forget before the recession Augusta had the Watermark development(condos, hotels, office space, renovated train depot)... A project of that size would never be proposed for downtown Columbus... Then you had condos/retail coming to the former Woolworth building on Broad.. Once the economy improves further the projects will start to speed up...

The future of downtown Augusta is very bright.. GGHF site, TEE Center, renovated Miller Theatre, etc...

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 07/14/12 - 01:49 pm
6
0
There is absolutely nothing

There is absolutely nothing to purchase on Broad Street other than some food, spirits, tatoos, some local art, old furniture, and a green egg. There is no retail that can draw serious consumer attention.

KSL
143809
Points
KSL 07/14/12 - 05:49 pm
2
0
CM, when those condos get

CM, when those condos get there and there is reason for those of us who don't live there to come to downtown to shop let us know.

KSL
143809
Points
KSL 07/14/12 - 05:59 pm
3
0
Also the recession isn't

Also the recession isn't over, the true every day recession that hits Americans, not what the government reports.

Enjoy your direct flight to Washington.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 07/14/12 - 07:38 pm
3
0
Unless something HUGE happens

Unless something HUGE happens in retail, the ony forseeable future for DT is Augusta Fine Arts & Medical College to take over as much real estate as possible. Then we will see some improvements in boutique retail, food, drink and entertainment.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Daniel Field removes trees, lights structures in airspace

Daniel Field, managed by operations company Augusta Aviation, has spent more than $30,000 conducting land surveys, removing 30 trees and installing red blinking lights on top of the Newman Tennis ...
Search Augusta jobs